Nerissa and Cressida

In same sibset - too much or not


October 7, 2017 3:47 PM

I have very fantastical associations with both, and I feel they're a bit much for a sibset IRL. That's not to say they shouldn't be used, as every name is normal these days, just different and very expressive.

However, for a literary/dramatic sibset, I love it. They're very cool and unique. I'd be delighted to read about them. 

October 7, 2017 3:49 PM

Well, I was asking are they too similar, since both have Nessie and Cressie as potential nicknames...

October 7, 2017 4:26 PM

I think if you don't use those nicknames they'd be fine. Cressie for Cressida is likely to be coined by someone somewhere along the way, but I don't think Nessie is at all inevitable for Nerissa; that's more of a deliberate choice.

October 7, 2017 10:00 PM

On the other hand, if you already have a Nerissa who is regularly called Nessie, then I would probably be more reluctant to add a Cressida. (I also agree that Cressida has much more negative connotations than Nerissa)

October 7, 2017 6:30 PM

I would put Cressida in the names with a lot of baggage category along with Jezebel, Lilith, and Delilah. (Read Henryson's  Testament of Cresseid.) People do use these names; I wouldn't.

October 7, 2017 6:35 PM

For me it would be too much in a sibset. 

October 7, 2017 8:36 PM

I think it would be ok

October 8, 2017 12:13 AM

I like them both. Actually I love Nerissa, but Cressida is pretty and I know the name from my second favorite Shakespeare, so it's a winner.


The over worrying about sibsets sleeves me out honestly. You are naming individual people, so sure avoid Daniel and Danielle, but the period where both names might be called at a playground is short compared to 60 plus years of adulthood. If you love both names, them use them.

October 8, 2017 10:20 AM

I tend to worry about sibsets sounding overly similar from the perspective of the family rather than the outside world. I'm a person who sometimes trips over my kid's names (or uses the wrong one) even though they sound nothing alike, so I dread to think how many mix-ups I would have if they had very similar-sounding names.

Aside from that practical concern I actually find it more creepy to have siblings with very similar names than to "over worry" about it before hand; if there was a family with children called say Emma, Ella and Eva I would find that weirdly homogeneous; like the parents wanted them all to be the same or were desperate to have them be seen as a set, or I would just assume that they had no creativity (which is what I think about a pairing like Daniel and Danielle-I once knew of a family with a Paul and Pauline). Now I should say that I don't think Nerissa and Cressida are as bad as any of those supposed groups, but for me they are still across the line of 'too similar'. 

October 8, 2017 2:57 PM

Eh, parents mix up children with names like Patricia and Kent. Its not unusual to mix up kids with the dog, Rollo, and cat, Vanille,(for example) either. 


I do think that the mix of ancestors' languages makes this mostly a new world English speaking concern. Siblings Julie, Marie, and Thierry in France or Lucia, Giulia, and Giovanni in Italy are unremarkable.

Nerissa and Cressida both have two S's and end in 'a'; neither is striking in a name.

October 8, 2017 6:31 PM

Yes...that was my point. Names get mixed up anyway when they are not similar, I would be concerned that having the names be more similar would cause correspondingly more mix ups. Of course these mix ups are not the end of the world but at the same time I see no need to exacerbate them. Perhaps it's also that I like so many names that I can't imagine restricting myself to very similar ones or that because my family has a lot of twins I feel like it's more important for names to be distinct as the children will be grouped together so much more frequently.

I would argue that your European examples are more diverse than the OP's names. To me Nerissa and Cressida share more similarity in sound than just "two S's and end in 'a'" (the 'i' sound and er/re, plus as the OP said the potential Nessie and Cressie nicknames). If the question was about Nerissa and Cassandra or Cressida and Melissa I would have been more on the fence. But of course all of that is just my personal feeling about what is clearly a very subjective issue.